Air Force of Zimbabwe trainer aircraft crashes, kills two pilots near Gweru
An Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) SF260 trainer aircraft, hit a power line and crashed in the Mlezu College general area near Gweru, killing two pilots on board.
Names of the deceased will be released after their next of kin have been notified. The aircraft crashed while on a routine training sortie.
“An Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) SF260, trainer aircraft, has crashed in the Mlezu College general area, near Gweru, killing two pilots on board. The aircraft was on a routine training sortie when it hit a power line and crashed.
“The names of the deceased will be released after their next of kin have been notified,” read a statement by Donovan Muroyiwa, Wing Commander for Commander Air Force of Zimbabwe.
He also cited Commander AFZ, Air Marshal Elson Moyo’s message after the incident where he said that a dark cloud had engulfed the AFZ after learning of the unfortunate training accident that has claimed the lives of two pilots.
“We have learnt, with heavy hearts, of the passing on of two of our pilots after a training accident. Right now, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased pilots.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the deceased for this sad loss of AFZ pilots who were on duty and playing their part to ensure that the AFZ fulfills its mandate to defend Zimbabwe’s airspace and territorial integrity”.
In November 2020 Airforce of Zimbabwe flying instructor, Squadron Leader Mkhululi Dube and a trainee pilot, Officer Cadet Silungile Sweswe died on the spot their trainer aircraft (SF 260 Genet) crashed just outside Gweru in the Somabula area.
In May, on April 23, another crash into a family home in Arcturus, Mashonaland East Province, claimed four lives – two AFZ pilots, Wing Commander Thomas Tinashe Manyowa and Flight Lieutenant Anita Mapiye, an aircraft technician Flight Sergeant Tinodiwanashe Chikamhi and an 18-month-old toddler, Jade Fenyere who was sleeping in the house.
In July 2021 airforce pilots were commended for averting a major accident after an emergency landing with their Mi-35 helicopter gunship in Chitungwiza, which had developed a technical fault.